When everyone’s an insider, is anyone?

It’s hard to know which glut of summer blockbusters has been previewed with more anticipation—the movie lineup of 2010 or the shifting of several NBA lineups that is slated to take place beginning tomorrow.
A multitude of superstars taken in the 2003 draft are dipping their toes into free agency for the first time, and this could be the year where squads who are typically in the thick of things fall out of contention, and vice versa.
The Toronto Raptors appear as though they’ll lose Chris Bosh, who has been the main reason that the Dinos have even had a sniff of the postseason in recent years.
Other megastars on the market include 2006 Finals MVP Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, the Atlanta Hawks’ Joe Johnson, Phoenix’s key cog Amar’e Stoudemire, and the big kahuna, LeBron James.
These names have been making headlines because of their impending freedom while the season was still on, with “insiders” claiming that James was heading anywhere from New York to New Jersey to Chicago to Los Angeles.
The latest word is that James and Bosh are both leaning toward signing with Chicago to return the Bulls to glory, according to one team executive, though Bosh stressed last week that any move he makes will be independent of what his colleagues decide, noting that he hadn’t spoken to James about his plans.
NBA commissioner David Stern added that he expects players to talk, and that’s okay, just as long as it doesn’t cross the line into “tampering”.
However, other players across the league claim that they have the inside scoop.
For example, Bosh’s ex-teammate and current Detroit Piston Charlie Villanueva claimed on his verified Twitter account on Sunday Bosh was headed to Miami and James would not re-sign in Cleveland.
It’s understandable that if Bosh and Villanueva are buddies that Bosh’s free agency would come up as a topic of conversation. It’s kind of a big deal.
But if the Heat aren’t supposed to be in contact with the 26-year-old until 12:01 a.m. EST on July 1, it’s within the realm of possibility that the Heat and Bosh aren’t too impressed with Villanueva, unless there’s absolutely no truth to the rumour.
And if there is no truth to it, then what is Villanueva doing claiming to his 90,000+ followers that his former sidekick is planning to head down to the sunny beaches of Florida?
The real interesting point is that someone has to be wrong, especially in Bosh’s case.
On the one hand, as a journalist, I’d like to believe that the New York Times report suggesting Chicago is an accurate one, though that source remained anonymous.
By that token, for Villanueva to attach his name to a “tweet” that Bosh would be joining the Heat should add credibility to that possibility.
Only one can be right, at maximum, so it’ll be very intriguing to see what happens to the NBA in the coming days, and the direction that sports journalism is taking in general.
It’s certainly fun to discuss rumours and possibilities, and reporters must thoroughly research stories, so the emergence of the short, anonymously-sourced story as a sort of hybrid is a curious.
They’re being presented as a little more than “a little birdie told me Bosh and James will sign with the Bulls, take it for what it’s worth”, so maybe there’s a little extra credence to those stories.
At any rate, at this point, only the players know for sure where they’re likely to end up, and the rest of us should find out as the next few days unfold.

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